When Dorothy Townshend's car salesman husband died in 1987, she soon realised she was going to have to fight to follow in his footsteps.
Charlie was the owner and part shareholder of Townshend Motors, but when Dorothy - known to most as Dot - tried to take his place on the board she was told "no".
The reason? She was a woman.
The Faraday St business changed ownership, but Dot wasn't going to let the loss get her down.
And so 31 years ago, she founded Bayswater Vehicle Group with her son Rob Townshend.
Dot, who watched as the business grew to seven dealerships across Hawke's Bay and Manawatū, died on July 13 after a short battle with cancer.
She was 90.
Bayswater co-director Rob Townshend told Hawke's Bay Today that Dot was driven to see Bayswater succeed by the loss of Townshend Motors.
It was a challenging time to set up a business - the day after Charlie died the 1987 sharemarket crash hit.
But Rob, who was not considered for the board either because of his youth at the time, said that starting a business with his mother was "an adventure".
"Townshend Motors was a really big entity that had been lost and I think for her it was about putting things right," he said.
"I think that's what drove her, it was about seeing us succeed."
Rob said everyone advised Dot not to invest her money in a new business but she went ahead anyway.
Rob said the day they started Bayswater in 1990, he and Dot walked up the steps behind Bayswater that go up the side of the hill and Dot, always having visions, said they had made the right decision as she could see what Carlyle St would look like in the future, describing 31 years ago what it looks like now.
Going into business with his mother was "great" as their relationship became close and "she was always there as a mentor for me".
"She loved the business, she absolutely loved what we have created."
She remained involved with the business until she died, attending every board meeting and asking questions.
"She was quite funny because as the company has become more corporate, she'd come along but she'd always come along with a fruit cake."
Rob said all of the Bayswater staff "absolutely loved her".
"She would bring in scones to all the dealerships and she had a very special relationship with all of our distributors, she knew them very well."
Outside of the business Dot "loved anything Hawke's Bay, loved everything youth and loved everything arts".
Dot got Bayswater to sponsor Project Prima Volta, the Tabard Theatre and young people to go on the Spirit of New Zealand, and also loved supporting rugby and go karting as being active with yoga and Pilates.
She was a mother of three, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of three.